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Germany's famed autobahns could be wiped out by new climate protection rules

The autobahn has also historically been used as a high-speed test road by German manufacturers, like Mercedes-Benz

If driving flat-out on one of Germany's autobahns is on your bucket list, you might want to start booking your flights. The famous speed-limit-free roads could soon be a thing of the past under new climate protection rules currently under consideration.

The changes, proposed by the country’s National Platform on the Future of Mobility, also include more expensive fuel taxes and mandated electric vehicle quotas to help Germany meet its EU emissions targets.

A paper sighted by news service Reuters carries the recommendation of a national 130km/h speed limit across Germany’s freeway network by 2023. At the moment, of course, parts of the German autobahn network have no speed limit, with travellers able to go as fast they’d like.

The paper says that, along with fuel tax increases, EV quotas and the end of diesel subsidies, the measures could produce half the emissions cuts required to meet Germany’s targets. The committee is yet to finalise its suggestions, with its findings due to be reported by the end of March.

If the decision is made to introduce a speed limit on German autobahns there will likely be significant backlash from the country’s car-loving citizens, something the paper’s authors are already trying to minimise.

“Not every instrument and every measure will be accepted,” the paper says. “It will take political deftness, diplomatic skill and a willingness to compromise to achieve the climate change goals.”

Have you driven on the autobahn? Tell us in the comments below.